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Become an Improvement Coach

Ernesto Rodriguez, Chief of Emergency Medical Services, Austin-Travis County discusses the organizational benefits of sending a team to the Improvement
Coach program.

Further develop your improvement knowledge and skills in order to coach and facilitate improvement teams, with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI's) Improvement Coach Professional Development Program.

This interactive, experiential program is designed to advance your improvement capability and deepen your skills in the art of successfully coaching and facilitating improvement teams. It will also simultaneously support the implementation of improvement strategies throughout your organization.


In order to make the most of this practical virtual and in-person program, you must identify a team with an improvement project. This team must be willing to allow you to apply your learning from the program and act as a coach.

This program is designed to help you:

  • Understand the Science of Improvement and use the Model for Improvement as a roadmap for improvement projects
  • Coach improvement teams on how to develop, test, and implement changes
  • Identify high-leverage change ideas and test them using Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles
  • Become skilled in how to use data for improvement, including how to use run charts, and other key quality improvement tools
  • Build skills in team facilitation, communication, decision making, and understanding team culture
  • Apply just-in-time teaching of improvement skills to team members in order to advance the team’s work
  • Leave with a specific plan for how you will continue coaching your team and prepare yourself to coach subsequent teams
  • Learn concepts of implementation, sustainability, and scale-up  


This program is ideal for people who actively support improvement teams on a weekly basis (e.g., 25-50% of their time is dedicated to supporting teams as an improvement coach). 

Participants should have a foundation in quality improvement (QI) concepts, methods, and tools. Consider registering for this program if you are looking to build skills in coaching and facilitating improvement teams in order to:

  • Coach staff on how to apply improvement concepts, methods, and tools to daily work
  • Support teams in identifying a problem and scoping an improvement project 
  • Help develop measures, data collection plans, and analyze data for a project
  • Understand the working and communication styles within a team in order to be more effective
  • Run effective meetings

Those with experience as a QI team member or leader who are interested in deepening their knowledge and turning that knowledge into practice with teams would also be a great fit.


  • Previous experience participating on an improvement team
  • Prior improvement knowledge required:
    • IHI Open School QI courses, Science of Improvement course, Improvement Science in Action course
    • An equivalent level of learning from other organizations (e.g., ASQ, NQF, or a university-based QI program)
  • An improvement team from your organization, where you will apply your learning and act as the Improvement Coach